I hope the Charleston County Legislative Delegation will push for legislation preventing immediate family members from being elected by the General Assembly. Recently the election of a legislator’s spouse to replace a judge who had a good record exposed not only a flawed method of election, but an embarrassing one.
I have expressed concern over the elections of people with no apparent qualifications to serve on boards and commissions but have resisted the idea of eliminating family members from these elections.
My reasoning was that there are good public servants within these families. However, the recent election made me change my opinion. To think there is not another person outside of family who is just as qualified would be the height of arrogance.
I understand it is not easy to change something that has been in place for decades, and in fact, it would require courage and leadership as there will be some among the membership who will fight this proposal until the end.
I remember how hard it was to tell fellow legislators I would not vote for them for judgeships unless they resigned their elected position. One agreed with me and I voted for him. The other two remained in the House; one being elected and the other not. The one who lost did so by a few votes.
It wasn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do.
Now it is the delegation’s time to do the right thing and change an embarrassing method.